BBC Sport football

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 18:42 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 19:42 UK

Gillett hits back at Hicks in row

Liverpool owners George Gillett (left) and Tom Hicks
Gillett (left) and Hicks are not on speaking terms

Liverpool co-owner George Gillett says he will not sell his shareholding to Tom Hicks and has accused him of creating "turmoil" at the club.

Gillett was responding to Hicks's claim that he is preparing a "very attractive offer" to buy out his fellow American.

The relationship between the two men broke down some time ago, leading to civil war breaking out at Anfield.

Hicks wants Liverpool chief executive and Gillett ally Rick Parry to quit, labelling his tenure a "disaster".

But Parry has the support of Gillett and a majority in his favour among the club's six-man board.

Gillett said: "I am saddened at this latest outburst from Tom Hicks.

"Here we are, a few days away from a vital Champions League semi-final match and Tom has once again created turmoil with his comments.

"Tom should stop. He knows that Rick Parry has my support and that airing his comments in this way will not change my position.

"His failure to discuss this with the Board or the management committee is significant."

Parry told Radio 4's Today programme: "I'm accountable to the board and this is not something the board has discussed with me.

"I think I have a responsibility, indeed a duty, at the moment to try to keep things on an even keel when there's a degree of turmoil off the pitch.

"The club will survive, we've got a Champions League semi-final coming up, there are a lot of important things to be done at the club and that's our focus."

Hicks says Parry should stand down because he feels the club needs a fresh injection of commercial clout.

"Look at what's happened under Rick," Hicks told Sky Sports. "It has been a disaster. "We have fallen so far behind the other leading clubs.

"We should have the stadium built by now. We have a few major sponsors when we should have 15.

"We have still got the top brand in the world of football but that's no good if you don't know how to commercialise it.

606: DEBATE

"Rick needs to resign from Liverpool FC. He has put his heart into it but it is time for a change.

"You have to be able to work with the manager and Rick has proved he can't do that."

Hicks says he is preparing a "very attractive offer" to buy out Gillett as the power struggle within the corridors of power at Anfield deepens.

He also insists he will not sell to Dubai International Capital, who came close to taking over the club before the arrival of the two Americans.

"If George doesn't sell - because I am not going to sell - I guess we stay in this position that we are in," added Hicks, who echoed Gillett's recent claim that their relationship had broken down.

And Hicks has tried to assuage fans by saying that if he gains overall control of the club he will offer Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez a one-year contract extension.

Benitez's current deal runs until 2010 and, judging by Hicks' comments, it seems the Spaniard may have a fragile relationship with Parry.

He (Gillett) and Rick set up the meeting in New York with Jurgen Klinsmann - I did go to the meeting along with my son Tom

Tom Hicks

"If I were to buy George out the first thing I'd do is offer Rafa a one-year extension to make sure he is going to be here up to when we get the stadium," said Hicks.

"Hopefully we could have some success and then extend him again.

"Rafa and the players have their heads down. They are playing great. We communicate regularly.

"I know he feels comfortable with the way things are going."

Hicks out with Gillett over the design of the new stadium, and he has also been the target of abuse from fans for having talks with former Germany manager Jurgen Klinsmann about replacing Benitez.

But Hicks said: "George became good friends with Klinsmann a year ago.

"I get this call from George out of the blue in which he says 'have your people do some research on Klinsmann'.

"He and Rick set up the meeting in New York. I did go to the meeting along with my son Tom.

"Rick Parry had already met with Jurgen alone for a couple of hours when we arrived. We all then spoke to him for another four hours.

"Afterwards I told the truth to a reporter who asked the question and suddenly it is 'Tom Hicks tried to get Jurgen Klinsmann'. George initiated it but we all participated."


see also
Parry keen for talks with Benitez
14 Apr 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool 3-1 Blackburn
13 Apr 08 |  Premier League
Benitez urges his squad to focus
12 Apr 08 |  Liverpool
Parry hits back at Anfield owner
11 Apr 08 |  Liverpool
Hicks calls for Parry resignation
10 Apr 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool co-owner reveals split
28 Mar 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool admit Klinsmann talks
15 Jan 08 |  Liverpool
Parry calls for Reds resolution
30 Mar 08 |  Liverpool
DIC to offer Hicks share of power
08 Mar 08 |  Liverpool
Hicks plots total control of Reds
04 Mar 08 |  Liverpool
Hicks holds talks over Liverpool
27 Feb 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool owners deny sale claims
17 Jan 08 |  Liverpool


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.